7.7 out of 10

Forest St, Medford

42.4243277730644 -71.1063845903256
Great for
  • Childcare
  • Clean & Green
  • Cost of Living
  • Eating Out
  • Gym & Fitness
Not great for
  • No ratings yet
Who lives here?
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees


4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 5/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 5/5

"Neighborhood in Transition"

Forest Street is located in Medford Square within easy reach to Tufts University and offers convenient public transportation routes to Davis Square, Porter Square, Harvard Square and downtown Boston. A more diverse/younger crowd is moving in with more sensitivity to architectural integrity (less apt turn their houses into refrigerators by slathering them with dreadful vinyl siding).

Medford is changing for the good and Forest Street is starting to be a good representation of that change. Properties are being fixed up, the square is getting better and more educated/progressive professionals are leading the transition of Medford.

A short walk down Forest Street will lead you into Medford Square where there are all kinds of restaurants—Korean, Vietnamese, Thai, Chinese and Italian—as well as several sandwich shops, an ice cream parlor and a couple of places to get an OK pizza. I'm thrilled to have TWO places up the street where I can get sushi! Colleen's Ice Cream Shop is the local hangout. A little expensive, but lively with a fairly young crowd. Il Faro is a decent Italian restaurant, but it's decorated like a typical suburban family room. The Vietnamese restaurant on Salem St. is probably the best offering for food and atmosphere, but the other Asian restaurants definitely hold their own in the food category. The pizza/sub place on High St. is pretty good for takeout and the people are extremely nice. When you're looking for something sweet, don't forget Mike's Pastry Shop on Salem Street, which has the best pies (among other goodies).

At the entrance to Forest Street (heading north from the Square), there is a Dunkin' Donuts (that I wish was a Starbucks), the Thai restaurant, 13 Forest—a great little art gallery, a tax preparation office, the U.S. Post Office and the Chevalier Theatre, which is one of Medford's treasures and hosts all kinds of performances/events throughout the year..

Unfortunately, this area has its share of eyesores that detract from the atmosphere, particularly the dry cleaners (horrible flourescent lighting, big dirty windows with decals and posters, and not very well tended). Grace Cleaners on Riverside Ave. in the square does a much better job and takes much better care of their facility.

The law office on Forest St. is also an eyesore. It seems to be always in a state of construction. Add that to the fact that the once historical building has been compromised to a state of no return. This is next to a nasty grey apartment house that should be taken over by eminent domain and razed. And speaking of a good application of eminent domain, there's the New England Baptist Church next to Mike's Pastry Shop on Salem St. Its presence contributes absolutely nothing to the square. The once beautiful historic structure looks more like something Rubbermaid would erect. The members are most likely not from Medford and contribute nothing but hate to the community (don't think they can afford to contribute much else). The "church" has been in the news several times for posting hate messages against homosexuals, victims of Katrina and even Democrats. Someday my dream will come true and they will need to take the congregation to a more appropriate venue—maybe an abandoned strip mall on Route 1.

Forest Street will only get better now that Medford has been "discovered" and additional improvements are made to the square. There are a lot of young people living in the condominiums at the old Medford High School building, but there's not much for them to do other than get a decent meal in the square. Medford really needs some nightlife other than Colleen's Ice Cream Shop. A pub, more upscale coffee shop or even a restaurant with a cocktail lounge would be a great addition.

The neighbors are really friendly, but not intrusive, and the area seems to be getting more progressive politically as well. The Forest Street Neighborhood Association will soon be forming in an effort to improve the neighborhood. Please contact the poster of this review if you are interested in joining.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees

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